Vijaykant drops LS poll boycott bomb, retracts in an hour

Desperate to make political capital out of the emotive Lankan Tamils issue, Vijayakant says he will opt out of General Elections; hour later adds rider on all parties following suit.

Published: 02nd April 2013 07:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2013 09:29 AM   |  A+A-


Barely an hour after DMDK president Vijayakant on Monday created a flutter by dramatically saying that his party would boycott the 2014 General Elections for the cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Captain changed his stance and added a rider. He said his party would stay out of the Lok Sabha elections only if all other political parties would do so as well.

Addressing a public meeting here to condemn the suspension of his party MLAs by the TN Assembly, Vijayakant said his party gave a call in 2009 during the peak of war in Sri Lanka that all parties should boycott the LS polls to exert pressure on the Union government. However, no party heeded his call and thousands of Tamils were butchered.

“We are not afraid of anyone. For sure, our party will boycott the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 on the Eelam Tamils issue,” he declared. The anticlimax of his electrifying declaration happened when he said that his party would stay away from Lok Sabha elections if all other parties chose to do so.

“Let all others first declare that they will boycott,” he said after a brief hush-hush conversation with his top aides including Panruti Ramachandran on the stage.

On the Rajya Sabha polls that are likely to be held in a few months, the leader of the opposition said his party were not “much interested” in a seat in the upper house. “We will not stoop and do any thing cheap for the sake of an RS seat,” he said.

His party originally had 29 MLAs making it the biggest party in the opposition. However, five MLAs fell out of favour after meeting Chief Minister Jayalalithaa six  have been suspended now. The party needs to muster 34 votes for sending their legislator to the Rajya Sabha.

Significantly, Vijayakanth steered clear of criticising the DMK in his 90-minute speech and thanked the party for support in the Assembly on the suspension row.


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